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Manalkadu Desert


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Author Topic: Manalkadu Desert  (Read 182 times)
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« on: October 18, 2010, 03:54:47 am »

One of South Asia’s largest beaches is located around the Manalkadu desert. The land on the West side has white clay which is used as Namam. It is an indication of the sea advancing inland and wiping out all the mineral contents of the clay particles and leaving only the pure clay in the soil.

Manalkadu or Manalkaadu is a village in the Kilinochchi District. In Tamil it translates to sand-bush, referring the small desert in the area. Like its name suggests, Manalkadu is a semi-desert with soft golden sands and thorny undergrowth so you better be careful where you tread. It is a fishing village which is a kind of resettlement area called Vallipuram.

The name “Vallipuram” testifies to the nature of the soil here.

Vallipuram was an ancient capital of Northern kingdoms of Sri Lanka with Point Pedro being its nearest town. Vallipuram is also a part of Thunnalai.

The place was previously under the sea (whenever a tsunami strikes or big cyclones takes place) as the soil structure was red clay.

The place name Valli or Vali is a Ramayana name, and it is also a clear toponymic from “Valli”, or “sand” in Tamil and Sinhala. The Vishnu temple here was constructed around the 13th century.

Tamil Buddhists and Hindu cults co-existed easily, even when the rulers did not, and hence a Vaisnava tradition may have existed in early times as well. The deity of the temple is called Vallipura Azhvar. Azhvar names are common in Vaishnavite tradition. According to legend, this place was known to be the first place of settlement in Sri Lanka and the rest of Sri Lanka was populated from this landing place. Migrants settled down here forming the town of Vallipuram near Namakkal close to Coimbatore.

Also, some of the striking features of this place is a church called St. Anthony’s Church that is half-buried in sand built around 1900 and a temple dedicated to Vishnu dating back to the first century AD where Vishnu (or his Avatar Krishna) appeared here in the form of a fish.

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